Private Leeward Beach Will Soon Open to Beachgoers

Published: Mar. 20, 2008 at 9:07 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 24, 2008 at 3:42 PM HST
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By Beth Hillyer

LEEWARD OAHU (KHNL) -- Starting in April, a leeward beach that used to be off limits will soon be open to beachgoers.

It used to be military housing so civillian beachgoers were turned away at the gate, but now that civillian live here and it's run by a private housing firm, state rules apply and that means beachgoers win.

It's a mile long stretch of white sandy beach.

It's rare to see an Oahu beach not crowded. That's because this is not a public beach. Now used only by Iroquois Point residents.

But that will change April 15th.

This used to be military housing but it's now run by Hunt Development Group.

Since civillians live here, state beach access rules apply.

"Due to the state law requiring public access to the beach the whole discussion of implementing a policy or coming up with a policy to grant public access was one," said Steve Colon, Hawaii Division President.

The Navy had concerns about security since the property sits at the mouth of Pearl Harbor.

There will be added security and visitors have to abide by the rules.

For example, the umbrellas and chairs will be reserved for housing residents.

The beach will be open from sun up to sun down.

One downside, they are only giving out 23 parking passes a day.

"The 23 spaces is 20% of our available parking. We still have 250 vacant homes at Iroquois Point. Once those homes get leased we could have another thousand people living at Iroquois Point."

Ewa lawmakers call it a victory for the community. They say the most vocal group are the fisherman who want to be able to cast their lines here. Now they can.

Surfers may want to pass, according to beachgoers, it's not a really good place to catch waves.